Affecting the Lymphatic System, Tattoos Raise the Cancer Risk by 21%: New Study


A recent study found that having a tattoo, no matter how big, raises the chance of lymphoma by 21 percent. The researchers claim that their goal is to guarantee the safety of the process, not to discourage individuals from getting tattooed.

The prevalence of tattoos has increased significantly during the past few decades. In the US, 32% of adults have one, and 22% have more than one, according to the Pew Research Center. Everyone appears to have tattoos these days, from politicians to music singers, as they are thought to be more socially acceptable.

Malignant lymphoma, a malignancy of the lymphatic system, has become more commonplace worldwide along with a completely inexplicable spike in tattoo popularity. Swedish researchers at Lund University looked at the two in a recent study to determine if there was a relationship.

“We have identified people diagnosed with lymphoma via population registers,” said Christel Nielsen, associate professor of epidemiology at Lund University and the study’s lead and corresponding author. “These individuals were then matched with a control group of the same sex and age, but without lymphoma. The study participants answered a questionnaire about lifestyle factors to determine whether they were tattooed or not.”

The immune system includes the lymphatic system. It balances bodily fluid levels and protects the body from illness. The two primary cancers that impact the lymphatic system are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), which together make up approximately 90% of all lymphomas. The NHL has around 40 subtypes, each with a different growth and dissemination rate. One of the most prevalent malignancies in the US, NHL can strike at any age.

Of the 11,905 Swedish participants in the trial, 2,938 (referred to as “cases”) had lymphoma and were between the ages of 20 and 60. Of those included, 54% responded to the tattoo questionnaire; 47% of the control group—those without lymphoma—responded in the same way. In cases, the prevalence of tattoos was 21%, whereas in controls it was 18%.

“After taking into account other relevant factors, such as smoking and age, we found that the risk of developing lymphoma was 21% higher among those who were tattooed,” Nielsen said. “The results now need to be verified and investigated further in other studies and such research is ongoing.”

Read More: Click Here